Igbo Helmet Mask With Glass Eyes Maiden Spirit Nigeria African

Igbo Helmet Mask With Glass Eyes Maiden Spirit Nigeria African

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Igbo Helmet Mask With Glass Eyes Maiden Spirit Nigeria African:

TitleIgbo Helmet Mask with Glass Eyes Maiden Spirit Nigeria African Type of ObjectHelmet Mask Country of OriginNigeriaPeopleIgboMaterialsWood, pigment, mirror or glassApproximate AgeMid 20th centuryDimensions13 inches H. x 7.25 inches W. Overall ConditionFair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.Damage/Repaircracks, chips, scratches in many places, large chips in base, stains from water

Additional Information :  An old  Maiden Spirit Helmet Mask from the Northern Igbo showing much handling and great age. Exceptionally,  this mask has a piece of mirror inserted in each eye. 

The Igbo are one of the largest cultural groups in Nigeria, and have great artistic and political influence over their neighbors in the region of the Niger Delta. This type of mask, with refined traits and markings, represents the spirit of a young woman known as agbogho monnwu. It is called ikorodo. Traditionally, such a mask  is described as the portrayal of a young girl. It celebrates and emphasizes the qualities of wealth, creativity, fertility, and beauty: fair skin, thin lips, facial tattoos, straight nose. Moreover, the hairstyle and scrarification refer symbolically to the age of the subject represented, to her social condition and the category of the spirit to which she belongs.

The ikorodo were worn by groups of young men for the annual ceremony, in honour of the spirit of the earth ""Ane,"" which is celebrated at the end of the harvest. During the dances, they mimic female behavior with extreme care and skill, to represent and communicate, without speaking---events, sentiments and ideas from the spirits of the earth. The Igbo consider these masks as the incarnation of a dead person who continues to care for their descendants and relatives. Their appearance during agricultural feasts is an auspicious occasion for the entire community. 

Recommended Reading:

Cole, H.M. and C. C. Aniakor; Igbo Arts, Community and Cosmos. 1984.

I have examined this piece and agree with the description

Niangi Batulukisi,


All content, including pictures, Copyright Africa Direct Inc., 2006

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Igbo Helmet Mask With Glass Eyes Maiden Spirit Nigeria African:

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